Jimmy Choo vs. Christian Louboutin
Kipp compares two of the world’s most coveted shoe brands. But we don’t bother rating them…how could we? We’ve never owned a pair, and thanks to the financial crisis we probably never will
History and philosophy:
Jimmy Choo was launched in 1996. Tamara Mellon, accessories editor at Vogue UK, wanted to make available “wearable” yet “stylish” shoes and approached Jimmy Choo with the idea. Choo is a couture shoemaker based in the East End of London.
The Jimmy Choo philosophy is “to create shoes and accessories that are both luxurious and practical for all occasions whilst creating a look instantaneously recognized as ‘Jimmy Choo’.”
Christian Louboutin, a French shoe designer, attended Chanel’s and Yves Saint Laurent’s schools of design before opening his first boutique in Paris in 1992. Christian Louboutin shoes, also popular among celebrities, are known for their trademark red soles. “The shiny red color of the soles has no function other than to identify to the public that the shoes are mine,” said Louboutin to the US Trademark office.
The famous red soles were inspired by an employee’s red nail polish. It’s no wonder that the shoes have inspired a manicure called the ‘Louboutin Manicure’. “The trend involved painting the underside of the fingernail tip red, and the top of the nail black, so what looked like normal black polish delivered quick flashes of red, much like catching a fleeting glimpse of a Louboutin sole.”
Jimmy Choo has 83 stores worldwide. There are five boutiques in the Middle East: one in Bahrain, one in Kuwait, and three in the UAE. However, Jimmy Choo sold his share of Jimmy Shoe Ltd. in 2001; so even though they bare the Jimmy Choo label, he did not design them. Shoes that have “anything to do with Jimmy Choo himself,” can only be bought from Jimmy Choo Couture (available by appointment only at 18 Connaught Street in Paddington, London, England).
Christian Louboutin has 20 boutiques worldwide, including a flagship store in London. He intends to open 27 more across Asia and the Middle East. Every Christian Louboutin boutique was designed and decorated by Louboutin himself.
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